COLUMBUS (WDTN) – This week, the state Controlling Board approved the release of $56 million in federal grant money to be spent on fighting the opioid epidemic.
It came from the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant awarded by the federal government. It will be used by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
During the current General Assembly lawmakers set aside more than $180 million in the State Operating Budget to combat the opioid epidemic.
Supplementing that funding, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration gave Ohio nearly $56 million. State Representative Scott Ryan says is greatly appreciated.
“This crisis necessitates all hands on deck so the federal government, state government, local government collaborating is our best chance at digging out of the program,” said Ryan.
The federal money is slated to do several things including improving the training of professionals responding to the opioid epidemic; paying for targeted messaging in Ohio communities; expanding prevention efforts by distributing Naloxone; providing treatment and recovery services to an estimated 18,000 people over the span of 2-years; and developing employment opportunities for people in recovery
Ryan says he hopes to collaborate with the next governor to find the best pathway forward when it comes to funding the fight against opioid addiction.
“I certainly would like to see more, but we’ll just have to see what our revenue projections are and how we can make it all fit,” said Ryan.
In addition to the SOR grant, the state will have access to another $15 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. That money will be used to fight the opioid epidemic in rural parts of the state.